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Exam Preparation

The CNA Certification Program is designed to evaluate the knowledge and skills expected of a nurse with at least two years of experience in a given specialty. The exam will test you on national standards created by nursing experts rather than a core curriculum of study.

NEW option — write the exam using an online proctoring service

We are pleased to announce we will be offering nurses the convenient option of writing their exam at home using ProctorU for the upcoming exam window, October 15 – November 15.

Several months ago, given the COVID-19 pandemic, the certification team began exploring new methods for exam writing. We selected ProctorU, which is a secure, online proctoring service that allows exam writers to log in using their own computer webcam and microphone.

Those nurses who do not have the required computer equipment for ProctorU can write their exam in person at a Pearson VUE test centre.

The ProctorU option is a pilot project for CNA this fall and, as such, is only available for English exam-writers at this time. Nurses planning to take the exam in French will do so at a Pearson VUE test centre.

Next steps to book your exam

Instructions for nurses who have already booked at a Pearson VUE test centre

  • Review the new option of taking the exam in your own home using an online proctoring system, ProctorU. Decide if you will select this new option rather than writing it at a Pearson VUE test centre. (Consult the computer requirements and next steps if you select ProctorU)
  • Or, keep your Pearson VUE appointment to take the exam at one of their test centres.

Important points about the ProctorU option:

  • The cost for writing via ProctorU is the same as writing at a Pearson VUE test centre — $105 plus applicable tax
  • There are specific computer requirements. You will need all of the following:
    • PC or Mac computer (tablets, iPads and cellphones are not supported)
    • Webcam. You must be able to move the camera around to provide a 360-degree view
    • 1 monitor. Only 1 monitor can be running during the exam
    • Microphone
    • Internet: A hardwired connection is preferred.  If you choose to use wireless, it is recommended you have a speed of at least 5 Mbps
    • Google Chrome (recommended internet browser)
  • If you cannot meet these requirements, you should keep your appointment with Pearson VUE.

If you choose the ProctorU option:

  • E-mail CNA immediately at certification@cna-aiic.ca with your decision to no longer take the exam at the Pearson VUE test centre.
  • You will receive further instructions via email for booking your exam with ProctorU. The email will also contain details about preparing and testing your computer station in advance and the process and expectations for exam day.
  • Consult some tips on online proctored exams: user guide [PDF, 3 MB], exam-booking video tutorial and frequently asked questions.

Instructions for nurses who have not yet booked their exam

  • Nurses who have met the exam eligibility requirements will have received an email regarding being granted access to book their exam with Pearson VUE.
  • You can still book your appointment with Pearson VUE to take the exam at one of their test centres.
  • Or, you can choose the new option of taking the exam in your own home using an online proctoring system, ProctorU. (Consult the computer requirements and next steps if you select ProctorU)

Important points about the ProctorU option:

  • The cost for writing via ProctorU is the same as writing at a Pearson VUE test centre — $105 plus applicable tax
  • There are specific computer requirements. You will need all of the following:
    • PC or Mac computer (tablets, iPads and cellphones are not supported)
    • Webcam. You must be able to move the camera around to provide a 360-degree view
    • 1 monitor. Only 1 monitor can be running during the exam.
    • Microphone
    • Internet: A hardwired connection is preferred.  If you choose to use wireless, it is recommended you have a speed of at least 5 Mbps
    • Google Chrome (recommended internet browser)

If you choose the ProctorU option:

  • E-mail CNA immediately at certification@cna-aiic.ca with your decision to no longer take the exam at the Pearson VUE test centre.
  • You will receive further instructions via email for booking your exam with ProctorU. The email will also contain details about preparing and testing your computer station in advance and the process and expectations for exam day.
  • Consult some tips on online proctored exams: user guide [PDF, 3 MB], exam-booking video tutorial and frequently asked questions.

Instructions for nurses who are planning to write the exam in French

The online proctoring service, ProctorU, is currently a pilot project for CNA and, as such, is offered in English only at this time.

  • As you have been deemed eligible to write a certification exam, you can expect to receive further information about booking your exam at a Pearson VUE test centre.
  • If you are interested in taking the exam via the online proctoring service, ProctorU, this option is available to you in English. Determine if the ProctorU option is feasible for you by consulting the computer requirements.

If you choose the ProctorU option (English only):

  • E-mail CNA immediately at certification@cna-aiic.ca with your decision to no longer take the exam at a Pearson VUE test centre. Please indicate you intend to change your exam language to English.

Study resources

Because the exam will assess your experience, your preparation will be based on what you already know. You should therefore study to refresh your knowledge of your nursing specialty, especially those practice areas you haven’t been exposed to recently.

We want you to succeed on the certification exam! There are many resources that can help you prepare.